Little Leaguers Play Pickup Game for Fun

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT -- The young players who have already been eliminated in the Little League World Series games have found other places to play way beyond the main stage.

Just because they won't be playing in the championship game, doesn't mean they're done playing baseball. The teams already eliminated from the tournament play what they call crossover games.

We went to see Canada and Italy just outside Williamsport Thursday afternoon.

The stands are a little smaller than the ones they've been playing in front of at Lamade Stadium in South Williamsport.

"The other field is a lot louder," said Matteo Ripoli of Canada. "You can't really hear as well. There is a lot more people screaming and yelling at you."

They won't play at Lamade Stadium on this day but several teams, including Canada and Italy, had the chance to play a game. This one was just for fun.

"We thought there would be some bigger crowds but it's great," said Sara Terrano of Williamsport. "It's so much fun and we're so glad that they had it here and we got to do it. It's like they are playing at home, probably."

With their parents and a few local fans cheering them on, Italy and Canada played what the teams call a crossover game at Tater Patch. It's one of the Little League fields in Old Lycoming Township.

"I think it's pretty awesome to know that I can play on the same field as these kids that are so good," said Riley Harris.

Riley Harris from Williamsport is the same age as most of the players. He's been to a Little League game in South Williamsport but liked watching this game better.

"You can interact. You can hear them talking. You can't really understand what the Italy people are saying but it's still fun to hear what they have to say."

After a week in the spotlight at Lamade Stadium, both teams were glad to spend some time with new friends doing what they love.

"It is back to reality," said Kevin Clegg, president of Hastings Little League. "They've been playing in front of huge crowds, a lot of expectations and today they could just come out and be themselves, play in front of their families one more time and it's great."

"It brought me back to what we used to play on. It felt like home almost," Ripoli added.

Italy won that crossover game.

All 16 teams get a break Friday before the big championship game this weekend in South Williamsport.